Starting and Growing Your Coaching Business: A Roadmap For New Coaches
I started my private coaching practice in December 2019 and it is now August 2020.
A few weeks ago, I reached my target number of clients and income targets. My clients are founders, leaders, entrepreneurs, and aspiring leaders. I now have a full practice, clients being referred every week and my clients tell me that our work together is changing their lives for the better.
I was so happy to have achieved this goal, I shared the post below. Amusingly, this led to more people booking sessions with me. It really is true that success breeds success.
However, I remember how daunted I felt when I first started and I loved reading about how other people started and grew their coaching businesses.
I looked everywhere for training programmes or groups that helped new coaches set up and grow their businesses.
All the people and programmes that I found to help me seemed to be using spammy techniques or required investments of many thousands of pounds.
Many of the people selling these programmes seemed to only coach coaches and I doubted their advice. I didn’t want to only coach other coaches, that felt too much like too much of a pyramid scheme. None felt like the right fit.
I wanted to grow a coaching practice in an ethical, service and relationship-driven way based on mutual benefit and value. There didn’t seem to be a roadmap for me. I had to find my own way.
Now I have found my way and reached my goal of financially successful and highly impactful coaching practice, I want to create a roadmap for other coaches setting out on their journey.
I have to stress that there is not one ‘right’ way to set up a coaching business. You must test, learn and find your own route. I just hope that this can provide you a way to get going.
It’s also really important to note that I learned how to do this by learning from experts who have gone before, especially Rich Livin and Steve Chandler who wrote The Prosperous Coach.
However, I have used their information and guidance in my own way, tweaked and changed it to suit my strengths and the current context we are living in.
I hope you find it useful on your journey.
Pre-requisites: This roadmap assumes that you are an impactful, skilled, professionally trained coach.
If you do not have coach training or have not already made an impact in people’s lives using coaching, do that first.
Ideally, get certified or completed a certified coaching course and coach people for free until you have developed your coaching skills to make an impact in people’s lives.
Let’s get started!
Tell people about your new coaching practice, what you can offer and impact you can make as a coach. Use email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and in-person connections.
Coaching changes lives. Working with a coach changes lives. As a coach, you have something so powerful and impactful to offer. Remember that as you introduce what you do and who you are.
Tell people about who you would love to work with, what difference you make and how they can book a session with you.
Ways you can do this:
- Email your friends and family with an update
- Email your old colleagues
- Update your LinkedIn profile
- Create a post for LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram introducing your work and what you can do
- Mention it in conversation when you speak to people
- Post in relevant Facebook groups
Start where you are, have one conversation at a time, keep growing your network, update your contacts and network and make offers.
One of the best offers you can make when you are first starting and don’t have any or few paid clients is a free session for a limited number of people in your network – 6 works well.
These first free sessions build your testimonials, your skills, your client base and create referrers.
When I offered 6 free sessions in one Facebook group, I filled them in an hour. For the clients, I couldn’t give free sessions to, I offered them paid coaching. Some said yes.
After their free session or sessions, I asked clients if they wanted to continue working together. Some said yes, I made them another offer and some signed up.
The ones that didn’t sign up for paid coaching gave me a testimonial, feedback and some referred me to other clients.
I always made sure that everyone received powerful coaching and value from their coaching session, paid or unpaid.
Until I was fully booked, I offered everyone I wanted to work with a free, powerful 1:1 coaching session. Without any pressure, sell or obligation. I promised that we would only talk about working together on a paid basis if they wanted to. Once they had had a powerful coaching experience, many people do want to work together but there is no pressure to do so. Taking this approach has satisfied my desire to be impactful, of service and not spammy at all whilst also building a successful business.
Most people do not know what coaching is and haven’t experienced it yet.
Most people are not looking for a coach but they do want to solve the problem they are facing.
Some people have had coaching before but it is likely to have been expensive and low impact.
As coaches, we know that our skills can help people but our potential clients might not know how we can help them.
Our role as coaches is to show our potential clients, in our coaching sessions, how we can help them. Show them through coaching rather than telling them.
And at the end of a highly impactful coaching session, explore whether they want you to help them and they want to explore working together. Make an offer and see if it’s a fit, tweak and change it to fit them and you.
Make a Big Impact
Sometimes all a client needs is a single session. That’s great!
Sometimes a client needs 4 sessions to create the change they need in their lives. Another needs six sessions or 12 sessions or working together for a year or three years.
When you’re starting out, it can be hard to know what to offer your clients to create the change they want to see.
It can be so tempting to look at other coaches programmes and copy theirs. However, it doesn’t get you very far.
One famous coach charges $1m a year to work with him, another $25,000 a year, another £6,000 a year, one changes £8,000 and another charges £3,000, another £1,500. Which do you copy?
Don’t copy because all of these programmes have been developed by those coaches to suit them and their clients and their client’s problems.
Instead of copying, create.
Create packages of coaching sessions for the potential clients you are speaking to and evolve from there.
Coach them to identify how they want their lives to be in 3 months/6 months/12 month e.g. getting a new client, setting up a business, getting a promotion etc.
Find out what they need coaching for to help them achieve this goal e.g. imposter syndrome, fear, prioritising etc.
Propose the number of sessions you think they will need to help them achieve this goal and set your price
- 4 coaching sessions for £650 over 3 months covering x, y, z as you work towards your goal of x
- 12 coaching sessions for £5,000 over 6 months covering x, y, z as you work towards your goal of x
- 24 coaching sessions for £8,000 over a year covering x, y, z as you work towards your goal of x
I hope you have found this useful!
I’d love to hear your questions or anything more you’d like to know as you grow your own practice.